Letter of 24th January 1895 and Draft H, Paranoia (The Emma Eckstein episode) : 24th January 1895 : Sigmund Freud

by Julia Evans on January 24, 1895

Draft H, Paranoia : 24th January 1895 : p109-115 of The Origins of Psycho-Analysis: Letters to Wilhelm Fliess, Drafts and Notes 1887-1902 :translated by Eric Mosbacher & James Strachey: Basic Books New York : 1954 : available here

Letter of 24th January 1895 and Draft H, Paranoia : p112 of The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904 : Translated by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson : Belknap Press : 1985 : available here

James Strachey’s footnote, at the beginning of Draft H, on p109: This paper was enclosed with a letter of 24th January 1895, not reproduced here. (See the Masson translation) Part of the material was subsequently used in “Further Remarks on the Neuro-Psychoses of Defence”: 1896b, the second section of which describes the analysis of a case of chronic paranoia which Freud classified in a footnote added in 1924 as dementia paranoides. The paper published in 1896 did not, however, go so far as the material published here. In particular, the detailed discussion of projection and its employment in normal and abnormal psychical processes is only to be found in Freud’s later works. A complete, independent description of the mechanism of projection – a subject which is illuminated from many angles in the Schreber case history: 1911c never appeared. The emphasis on the concept of defence in this paper and the comparison of the effectiveness of the effectiveness as defensive mechanisms of the symptoms exhibited in different cases anticipates a good deal of what was to be stated thirty years later in ‘Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety': 1926d, when it was put on a new basis.

The phrase referred to by Jacques Lacan :“Sie lieben also den Wahn wie sich slbst”

See Sigmund Freud : Aus den anfängen der Psychoanalyse 1887-1902 : Briefe an W. Fliess : London, Imago : 1950 : p101 [Citation from Draft H Corrected.]

Rendered, by James Strachey, as

“They love their delusion as they love themselves”

Draft H, Paranoia : 24th January 1895 : p113 of The Origins of Psycho-Analysis: Letters to Wilhelm Fliess, Drafts and Notes 1887-1902 : Basic Books New York : 1954

or as ‘ One resorts to hallucinations, which are friendly to the ego and support the defense.

from Letter of 24th January 1895 and Draft H, Paranoia : p112 of The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904 : Translated by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson : Belknap Press : 1985

This shows the benefit of reading in the original language, German, as did Jacques Lacan.

Seminar VI : 20th May 1959, p268 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Availability given Seminar VI: Desire and its interpretation: 1958-1959 : from 12th November 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here:

There are three kinds of references to it in analytic experience, well and truly identified up to now as such.

The first kind is the one which we habitually call, rightly or wrongly, the pregenital object. The second kind is this sort of object which is involved in what is called the castration complex. And you know that in its most general form it is the phallus. The third kind, is perhaps the only term which will surprise you as being a novelty, but in truth I think that those of you who have been able to study carefully enough what I wrote about psychoses will not find themselves all the same essentially upset by it, since the third kind of object fulfils exactly the same function with respect to the subject at his point of failing, of fatigue, is nothing other, and neither more nor less, than what is commonly called a delusion, and is very precisely the reason why Freud, from almost the beginning of his first apprehensions, was able to write: ‘These people love their delusion as they love themselves’ (Sie lieben also den Wahn wie sich selbst) [Draft H 24.1.1895].

We are going to take up these three forms of the object in so far as they allow us to grasp something in their form which allows them to fulfill this function, to become the signifiers which the subject draws from his own substance to sustain before himself precisely this hole, this absence

Engaging with Catholics (see [i] ) : 10th March 1960 : Faculté Universitaire Saint-Louis, Brussels : quote :

Can Psychoanalysis Constitute the Kind of Ethics Necessitated by our Times?

I left you last night with a series of roughly hewn judgments regarding Freud, his position in ethics, and the honesty of his aim.

I believe that Freud is far closer than he allows to the Christian Commandment “Love thy neighbour as thyself”. He does not allow it; he repudiates it for being excessive as an imperative, if not for being mocked as a precept by its apparent fruits in a society that nonetheless calls itself Christian. But it is a fact that he investigates the point.

He speaks about it in a surprising text entitled ‘Civilisation and its Discontents[ii]’ His whole discussion revolves around the meaning of the “as thyself” at the end of the formulation. The mistrustful passion of he who unmasks makes Freud pause before this “as”. The weight of love is at stake. Freud knows in effect that self-love is great; he knows it better than anyone, having recognised that delusions are powerful because they find their source therein. “Sie lieben also den Wahn wie sich selbst”- they love their delusions as themselves, he wrote. This power is the one he designated with the name “narcissism.” It involves a secret dialectic in which psychoanalysts have a hard time finding their way around. It is in order to allow us to conceptualise it that I introduced into psychoanalytic theory the strictly methodological distinction between the symbolic, the imaginary, and the real. Here’s how it goes:

[Translated by Bruce Fink: p32-33 of Jacques Lacan, The Triumph of Religion, Polity Press, 2013.]

Also Seminar III : The Psychoses : 1955-1956 : begins 16th November 1955 : Jacques Lacan : Availability given here

Seminar III : 15th February 1956 : p157 : Quote: How does one enter psychosis? How is the subject led, not into alienating himself in the little other, but becoming this soething which, from within the field in which nothing can be said, appeals to all the rest, to the field of everything that can be said? Isn’t this something that evokes what you see displayed in the case of President Schreber – namely these fringe phenomena at the level of reality which have become significant for the subject?

Psychotics love their delusion like they love themselves. (See [iii] )Having said this, Freud, who hadn’t yet written his article on narcissism, added that the entire mystery lies here. This is true. What is the relationship between the subject and the signifier that is distinctive of the very phenomena of psychosis? How come the subject falls entirely into this problematic?

These are the issues that we are raising this year an I hope we are able to make some headway with them before the long vacation.

Seminar III : 2nd May 1956 : p214 : quote: Sie leben also den Wahn wie sich selbst. Das ist das Geheimnis. This sentence is taken from the correspondence with Fliess, where the beginnings of the themes that will appear successively in Freud’s work can be found with singular prominence.

Would we have Freud’s style if we didn’t have these letters? Yes, we still would, but they teach us that this style, which is nothing other than the expression of what orientates and animates his research, never deviated. Even in 1939, when he wrote ‘Moses and Monotheism’ (See [iv]), one feels that his passionate questioning hasn’t waned and that it’s still with the same almost desperate tenacity that he strives to explain how it is that man, in the very position of his being, should be so dependent upon these things for which he is obviously not cut out. This is said and named – it’s a question of the truth.


[i] Availability given here

[ii] Civilization and its Discontents: 1929: Sigmund Freud:

available here http://archive.org/details/CivilizationAndItsDiscontents

[iii]Thus they love their delusion as they love themselves. That is the secret.”

[iv] Freud: Moses and Monotheism: 1934-1938

Standard Edition: Vol 23: page 3 or Penguin Freud Library: Vol 13: p237

Available here: http://archive.org/details/mosesandmonothei032233mbp